Well, here we are . . . the last days of December. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that I always take this time to share some reflections and plans for the year ahead.
2023 came with some pretty intense challenges for my family. We discovered mold in our home and had to throw away many of our personal possessions and leave for 3+ months.
We recently moved back in to our now very minimally furnished house. It’s going to take time to make it feel like a cozy home again, but despite the challenges – and maybe even because of them – we’ve all grown closer together.
So while this is a year I’m ready to move on from, it was also a year studded with beautiful bright spots. Here are a few of them.
- This baby farm animal playdate
- Daily morning walks with my family
- Enrolling my fifteen year-old into her first college courses (she earned all A’s!)
- Watching the release of King George and Eloise Bridgerton back into the ocean
- Completing a renovation of my virtual home (this site) while remediating our actual home
- This Lorelai and Rory moment
- Moving back in to our house just days before Thanksgiving, and somehow pulling off a feast with very minimal supplies, furniture, etc.
- Watching my heart rate variability (an indicator of overall well-being) increase after moving back into our house
- Seeing my ten year old take charge of the holiday baking, which means that our gingerbread men are all Star Wars characters
- Sneaking a gift for myself under the tree, much to my kids bewilderment because I labeled it as “From the kids.” It was a preserved collection of all the thoughtful notes they wrote and left on my bedroom door this year.
I’ll share a little about my plans for 2024 soon, but first here are the top ten most popular articles from this year.
#10 – How To Make Popped Sorghum
If you love corn but it doesn’t love you back, don’t miss this recipe for making popped sorghum. It tastes pretty much exactly like popcorn, just smaller.
#9 – Mango Gelatin
Smooth and creamy with just a hint of lime to balance the sweetness, this mango gelatin is a kid-approved favorite.
#8 – Chocolate Waffles
These waffles are moist, chocolatey and sweet, but not TOO sweet.
Add some melted butter and a drizzle of maple syrup and they’re perfect, or create a decadent dessert by topping them with whipped cream, chocolate chips, ice cream, caramel sauce . . . whatever you like!
#7 – Crispy Oven Roasted Chickpeas
Craving a crunchy, salty snack that’s full of flavor? You need a bowl of these warm, savory, roasted chickpeas in your hands.
#6 – Benefits of Elderflower + Recipes
Elderflowers have a long history of use for cold and flu support, seasonal allergy relief, skincare and more.
They contain 10 times more flavones than the berries, and they’re easy to brew into Feel Better Tea, Stress Release Tea and more. Click the link below for both recipes.
#5 – Pumpkin Muffins
These muffins are moist, tender, and infused with just the right balance of pumpkin spice, vanilla and real pumpkin (in the form of puree).
You can customize each batch with yummy mix-ins – our favorites are dried cranberries, chocolate chips and chopped pecans.
#4 – Benefits of Blue Vervain + How To Use It
Blue vervain relaxes the mind while supporting digestion, deep sleep, detoxification and more.
#3 – EMF Protection for Your Home: A Blushield Review
Last year I had the opportunity to play a game I call “Woo or True” with a clinician who completed the Global Clinical Research Scholar program at Harvard Medical School. Basically, I rattled off a bunch of different wellness modalities, then he shared his thoughts on whether they’re legitimate or unlikely to be helpful.
Toward the end of the conversation we got onto the subject of EMFs, and he recommended Blushield to me. Unlike EMF-blocking technologies like phone cases (which I still use and recommend), Blushield is an active system that uses resonant frequencies to essentially overpower the “noise” created by man-made EMFs.
#2 – High Levels of BPA Found In Sports Bras + Non-Toxic Alternatives
According to a recent report from the Center for Environmental Health, sports bras can contain up to 22 times the safe limit of BPA established by California law.
BPA is easily absorbed through skin and has a wide range of negative health impacts.
#1 Most Popular – Oura Ring Review: My Thoughts After 5+ Years
Have you ever wondered if Oura rings are truly helpful or just hype? After owning one for 5+ years, here’s my take on:
- How it helps me make real-time decisions that support my health goals
- Features like period prediction and the ability to measure blood oxygen levels throughout the night
- Comfort and durability
- Why I prefer it to other sleep and fitness trackers and so much more
What almost made the list?
Here are the top five runners-up:
- Garlicky Fermented Radishes
- Moroccan Chicken Tagine
- Banana Nut Muffins
- 35+ Places to Check for Mold In Your Home
- How To Make Elderflower Syrup (Cordial Recipe)
Looking Ahead To 2024
Last fall I began working toward becoming a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P), and I’ll be graduating in the coming year. As a practitioner, I’ll be able to help clients identify healing opportunities through functional testing and 1:1 conversation. This is something I’ve wanted to offer for years and I can’t wait to share more with you.
Keep an eye out for deep dive product guides as I restock my home, and of course I’ve got lots of yummy recipes, herbal guides, DIYs and wellness articles to share.
Thank you (and a question)
As we wrap up this year and celebrate the holidays with our loved ones, I want to thank you for opening weekly emails, sharing these posts with family, and recommending recipes to friends and neighbors.
As we head into the new year, I’ve also got a question:
What do you want to talk about in 2024? What kinds of posts would you like to see more of? Please leave a comment and let me know!
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